Maren Cooke is a planetary scientist and studio artist by training, but now concentrates on science and environmental education and activism on issues from climate change and air quality to local food, land use, energy, and sustainability. She serves on the board of the Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP) and works closely with other organizations including the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Sierra Club, Grow Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Carnegie Mellon University, and the City of Pittsburgh. She volunteers as an Urban Ecosteward (improving a local city park), a Tree Tender (planting and caring for street trees), and a Master Gardener (helping maintain a historic conservatory and teaching gardening). She co-founded a school garden and nature education and stewardship program at a neighborhood elementary school. She has helped create science curricula and train teachers, led nature walks, and has taught physics, astronomy, environmental science, organic gardening, permaculture, and beekeeping to people of all ages. Maren also operates an urban microfarm, supplying ultra-local organic produce to a restaurant and garden plants to the surrounding community, and has been rebuilding her family’s home as a demonstration site for green building and green living. She maintains an online listing of environmental and social justice events and resources called MarensList and organizes and hosts Sustainability Salons, a monthly environmental education forum and community gathering now in its eighth year.

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